Dealing with the aftermath of a personal injury is a traumatic experience. Not only are you trying to get healthy, but you also have to wrestle with the legal aspect of such an injury.
Rather than trying to do everything on your own, you need help from an experienced attorney. A personal injury lawyer who has spent years handling such cases in your area will be immensely useful in the coming weeks.
Below are 11 things you should look for in a personal injury lawyer, if you are considering hiring one in the aftermath of an accident.
1. Good Listening Skills
The best lawyers take the time to talk with their clients and listen to what they have to say. Whether you are speaking with the professionals at MG Law or some other firm, you should ensure a lawyer takes the time to hear your side of the story before they give you any advice.
If you feel an attorney is talking over you or not paying attention when you speak, get up, walk away and find another lawyer.
When you are talking about your case with an attorney, they should be more than great listeners. You want someone who not only listens to everything you say, but offers constructive advice in response.
The lawyer should have a lot of opinions about what you have told them. Perhaps they can point to previous cases or some legal precedent to explain whether you have a case or not.
A quality lawyer does not leave a stone unturned when they are trying a case. If you have any reason to believe your lawyer is doing a rush job, you should look to find someone else to represent you.
Attorneys that tell their clients a case will take some time to navigate, as they must go through a lot of documents, are the ones you can trust. If any lawyer tells you they can win a case in a matter of days with next to no preparation, you should have concerns.
Not only do you want a lawyer who is assertive with you, but also with the other side. Assertive attorneys are the ones who can get things done, whether they are in mediation or speaking in front of a judge in court.
If your attorney appears meek or submissive, perhaps you should look elsewhere for representation.
5. Local Knowledge
The very best personal injury attorney who is practicing in California may not have the best understanding of Georgia laws. Having a local attorney at your side is invaluable, as they know how the system works in your part of the country.
Not only do they understand the legal system, but local lawyers also have connections with other firms and attorneys.
6. Experience in Court
Every lawyer must start somewhere, but you do not want an attorney trying their first case in court when they are representing you. Having a lawyer with experience gives you peace of mind, because they have been through this process on many occasions.
7. Respect of Other Lawyers
If you are hearing a lot of negative stories about an attorney from other lawyers, or those who work in the legal profession, you should pause before you agree to have them represent you.
Even if that lawyer is good at their job, having a bad reputation in the local court system is not a good sign. If your lawyer is viewed badly by their peers or judges, it can have a negative impact on your case.
A lawyer does not need to care about you to secure a positive verdict, but most attorneys who care are more likely to get the job done.
Your lawyer should have empathy for what you experienced, and care enough about your future to help you get the compensation you deserve.
9. Excellent Reviews
The beauty of the internet is that you can find out so much about businesses and professionals. A few Google searches and you can read about the past experiences of other people who hired attorneys in your area.
Look up the lawyers you are on your shortlist and see if any of them have negative reviews. If you see more than one or two reviews that highlight bad experiences with that lawyer, you should not hire them.
10. No Fee Without a Payout
If you are hoping to hire a lawyer in Georgia for a personal injury case, you should know that most attorneys that handle such cases in the state do not charge by the hour.
Any attorney that asks you for money up front to try a personal injury case should not be trusted. The best personal injury lawyers only charge a fee if they secure you compensation through mediation or a judge’s verdict in court.
Agree to the lawyer’s fee up front, as it will be a percentage of your payout. If they cannot secure you any compensation, you do not owe the lawyer any money.
A world class lawyer who has no time on his or her hands is no good to you. Not only do you need a quality attorney in your area, but you need someone who has enough time to give your case the attention it deserves.
If you have a choice between two equally competent lawyers, go with the one who has a lighter case load.
Hire the Very Best
Do not settle for an average attorney because you believe they will charge you less money. The best lawyers may take a slightly higher percentage of the payout, but they are also going to help you get a lot more money from the other side.